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Johnny “Big Moose” Walker

June 27, 1927 – November 27, 1999

Johnny “Big Moose” Walker plays piano on two tracks of Big Leon Brooks’ Earwig CD 4931, Let’s Go To Town.

John Mayon Walker was born in Stoneville, Mississippi, and spent his childhood in Greenville, where he learned to play several instruments, including church organ and guitar.

He began his musical career as a pianist, in 1947, touring with various blues bands and backing such notable artists as Ike Turner, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Elmore James.  Walker served in the United States Army during the Korean War.  He moved to Chicago in the late 1950s and over the next decade accompanied Sunnyland Slim, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters (on bass guitar), Ricky Allen, Little Johnny Jones, and Howlin’ Wolf. In the early 1960s, he played on recordings for Junior Wells, James, and Waters.

By 1969, Walker played on Earl Hooker’s album, Don’t Have to Worry (ABC Bluesway).  After Hooker’s death in 1970, Walker played backing for Jimmy Dawkins, Mighty Joe Young and Louis Myers. His own debut album, Ramblin’ Woman, was issued in 1970 by ABC.  His second album, Blue Love, released in 1984, was reissued in 1996 by Evidence Music, with five bonus tracks.

Walker suffered a series of strokes in the early 1990s which left him unable to perform; he died in a Chicago nursing home at age 72.

Photo courtesy of Allaboutmusic.com

johny big moose walker
Pianist